To J. D. Hooker 26 July 
My dear Hooker
I sincerely rejoice that your tour answered so well for Mrs. Hooker, & that you have returned safe. I hope it did you good & rested you.—1
We have been utterly miserable; but it over now: for now patience alone is wanted; & when he is strong enough we shall take him to the sea.—2 Did you ever hear of such a catalogue of evil. Scarlet fever, enlarged glands of neck, injured kidneys—recurrent scarlet fever with fresh & bad sore-throat & eruption—dredful erysipelas of the head & face—fever with typhalid petechiæ.3 Port-wine alone saved him.
I have not done a stroke of work for weeks & it has played old Harry with my experiments.—4
Your Hybrid orchids are interesting to me, as I never heard of but one case before.5
I was struck also with review of Nat. Hist R. in the Parthenon (which I take in):6 now you point it out that last page is astounding.7 I remember being surprised at “tubular” stems & wondering what “squarrose cymes” were. What an odd case that of the Calluna.—8 I wrote to you Poste Restante in the Swiss Valley;9 but there was nothing in my note worth sending.
Goodnight my dear old friend. | C. Darwin
It is surprising that many hybrids orchids are not produced, when clearly allied species grow & flower together. George caught a moth sucking G. conopsea, with the pollen-mass of a Habenaria bifolia attached to its face.—10
Illness of his son [Leonard]. Has done no work for weeks.
JDH’s hybrid orchids are interesting; CD is surprised many hybrids are not produced.
George [Darwin] caught a moth sucking Gymnadenia conopsea with a pollen-mass of Habenaria bifolia sticking to it.